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John Constable

1776 – 1837

Gillingham Mill by John Constable

Gillingham Mill   1843

  Mezzotint by David Lucas after John Constable.
Ref: Shirley 43, progress proof “h”
S 330 x 245 mm; P 245 x 192 mm; I (borderline) 186 x 157 mm
Rare progress proof before all letters.

Excellent, fresh impression, with bright contrast. A particularly fine early proof impression, with the image completed and the borderline added. Inscribed in pencil with the initials “A.C.”, denoting this impression to be from the personal collection of the artist’s son, Alfred Constable.

This view shows Perne’s Mill at Gillingham, Dorset and is based upon a painting thought to date from 1827. After John Constable’s death his engraver, David Lucas, continued to work on the English Landscape series, adding a handful of plates whichs were not published until during the mid-1840’s. These were produced for the New Series under C.R. Leslie’s supervision, and they continue the spirit of the great artist’s work. This striking mezzotint engraving is an early working proof, designed for this New Series, but prior to first publication.This early proof before all letters shows the completed image in its finest state as prepared for this New Series, but prior to first publication. In this state the image can be seen with the rich contrasts as intended by the engraver with the mezzotint burr fresh and unblemished, prior to any wear on the plate and prior to Lucas’s publication in the New Series in 1846.

On warm white wove paper, with wide margins. One short crack in margin at bevel of plate, otherwise very fine condition. Image surface excellent.